Lewis Capaldi, Dave, Mabel and Stormzy lead the charge in 2020 BRITs nominations

Lewis Capaldi, Dave, Mabel and Stormzy lead the charge in 2020 BRITs nominations

Lewis Capaldi and Dave are each up for four BRIT Awards next month.

The two debut album artists lead the pack, with Mabel and Stormzy both in contention for three awards. Harry Styles and Michael Kiwanuka each have a pair of nominations.

The nominees were unveiled on ITV’s BRITs Are Coming show on Saturday (January 11), featuring performances by Liam Payne, Mabel, Aitch, Freya Ridings and Dermot Kennedy.

The 40th edition of the BRITs is staged at The O2 on February 18, 2020. This year’s showrunner is Universal Music UK CEO/chairman David Joseph, who’s implemented a big shake-up of the BRITs with a slimmed down line-up of categories. 

“Our 1,000-strong voting academy have chosen a young, future-focused and progressive list of nominees,” said Joseph. “It reflects and celebrates the current dynamism of British music and sets up what I hope will be an exciting BRITs night which truly reflects British culture.” 

Universal Music has done well in this years BRITs – the market leader has 24 nominations (Music Week’s calculations include distribution by majors and we double count split singles). Sony Music has 11 nominations, while Warner Music also has 11. 

Among the labels, Polydor is out in front with nine nominations, followed by Atlantic with eight and Virgin EMI and Columbia with six apiece.

While Mabel could be set for a good night at the ceremony, there’s a notable lack of female artists in the running. In fact, the Male Solo Artist and Mastercard Album Of The Year categories are identical. 

Outside of the Female Solo Artist category, Mabel is the only British woman to make an impact in this year’s BRITs nominations. Part of the problem is the reduced number of categories, but it’s also down to sales of 2019 releases by female artists. Albums by Dua Lipa and Jess Glynne sold well but were actually released in previous years.

Freya Ridings Top 3 self-titled album (Good Soldier) does earn her a first ever BRITs nomination in the Female Solo Artist category. But the breakdown of the shortlists by gender suggests that the 2020 ceremony will struggle to match last year’s BRITs, featuring winners  Little Mix, Dua Lipa, Jorja Smith, Pink and even a message on gender diversity from The 1975

However, this year’s International Female Solo Artist line-up is particularly strong, with three UK No.1 album acts – Ariana Grande, Billie Eilish and Lana Del Rey. Getting at least one of those Universal-signed artists to perform must surely be a priority for Joseph.

Our voting academy have chosen a young, future-focused and progressive list of nominees

David Joseph

The most obvious omission is Ed Sheeran, whose No.6 Collaborations Project was the second biggest-selling album of 2019. He was nominated for multiple awards in 2018 but famously lost out to Stormzy on the night.

Sheeran is nominated in Song Of The Year for Justin Bieber collaboration I Don’t Care, though the 10 tracks in the running for that category are based on Official Charts Company data.

Jack Savoretti, Liam Gallagher and Jax Jones might perhaps have been in with a shout this year too.

The eligibility period of September 2018 to December 13, 2019 meant that both Stormzy and Harry Styles just scraped into this year’s awards. 

Stormzy was a double victor in 2018, when Styles also won for British Artist Video (one of the awards scrapped). This year the former One Direction member has been recognised in the all-important album category for well-received sophomore release Fine Line.

Having scored the biggest album of 2019, Capaldi will be seen as a frontrunner. But Dave has already won a Hyundai Mercury Prize for the highly acclaimed debut Psychodrama

Singer-songwriter Michael Kiwanuka is up for same two awards that eluded him in 2017.

This year’s debut nominees include Ridings, Bring Me The Horizon, Aitch, D-Block Europe and AJ Tracey. Capaldi was previously nominated for the Critics’ Choice.

Coldplay have now scored 27 BRITs nominations in their career.

It’s also worth noting that four nominees are former BRIT School pupils – Freya Ridings, FKA Twigs and Mahalia.

The British Producer award will be announced at a later date, while the Rising Star winner has already been confirmed as Polydor-signed Celeste.

The full list of nominees is below:

Male Solo Artist
Harry Styles
Lewis Capaldi
Michael Kiwanuka

Female Solo Artist
Charli XCX
FKA Twigs
Freya Ridings

Best Group
Bring Me The Horizon
D-Block Europe

Best New Artist
Lewis Capaldi
Sam Fender

Rising Star
Celeste - winner
Joy Crookes

Song Of The Year
AJ Tracey – Ladbroke Grove (AJ Tracey/ADA)
Calvin Harris & Rag‘N’Bone Man – Giant (Columbia)
Dave feat. Burna Boy – Location (Dave Neighbourhood/Universal)
Ed Sheeran & Justin Bieber – I Don’t Care (Atlantic/Virgin EMI)
Stormzy – Vossi Bop (Atlantic/Merky)
Lewis Capaldi – Someone You Loved (Virgin EMI)
Mabel – Don’t Call Me Up (Polydor)
Mark Ronson feat. Miley Cyrus – Nothing Breaks Like A Heart (Columbia)
Sam Smith & Normani – Dancing With A Stranger (Capitol)
Tom Walker - Just You And I (Relentless)

Mastercard Album Of The Year
Dave – Psychodrama (Dave Neighbourhood/Universal)
Harry Styles – Fine Line (Columbia)
Lewis Capaldi – Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent (Virgin EMI)
Michael Kiwanuka – Kiwanuka (Polydor)
Stormzy – Heavy Is The Head (Atlantic/Merky)

International Female Solo Artist
Ariana Grande
Billie Eilish
Camila Cabello
Lana Del Rey

International Male Solo Artist
Bruce Springsteen
Burna Boy
Dermot Kennedy
Post Malone
Tyler, The Creator


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